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Religious Fundamentalism - Essay Example

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This essay focuses on that many fundamentalist activities have done much damage to the world and humanity. Wars have happened because of a fundamentalist approach taken to religious issues myriad times which is why a fundamentalist person is usually considered unpleasant…
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Religious Fundamentalism What is fundamentalism? The term “fundamentalism” has a certain level of controversy surrounding it. This is because many fundamentalist activities have done much damage to the world and humanity. Wars have happened because of a fundamentalist approach taken to religious issues myriad times which is why a fundamentalist person is usually considered unpleasant. Fundamentalists refuse to allow the idea of freedom or flexibility. They believe that individual freedom should be sacrificed in the name of strict adherence to orthodox religious doctrines which may or may not be applicable in present times. For example, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl shot by religious fundamentalists called Taliban, is a victim of fundamentalism because she was shot for not complying with religious terrorists or their orthodox views.
How do Christians and Muslims differ in their interpretation of historical events?
Christians and Muslims widely differ in their interpretation of historical events. For example, Crusades was a religious war and fundamentalism formed its bedrock. Both Muslims and Christians interpret this huge historical event differently. For example, Muslims interpret this event as a series of military campaigns run by Christians to stop the expansion of Islam and restrain the growing power of Muslim rulers. Many Christians were becoming impressed by Muslim civilization which was not tolerated by Christian fundamentalists and they started this war. Christians, in contrast, believe that expansion of Islam was not an issue, but Pope Urban II announced the first crusade to help Christians restore their access to the holy places in Jerusalem.
What are some common threads between Christian and Islamic religious fundamentalism?
Many traits are shared by Christian and Muslim religious fundamentalists. For example, it is claimed that right-wing religious extremists and their Muslim counterparts share five main characteristics. These common characteristics, as claimed by research, are found in nearly all fundamentalists. These are “racism, bigotry, intolerance, disdain for education, hatred of gays and women and people of different faiths and non-believers” (Fugelsang 2013). Both Christian and Muslims fundamentalists gush with hatred and vengeance for gays and empowered women. Also, both are found bursting at the seams with racist ideas and they also equally think low of people from other faiths. They also have intolerance for education. For example, Taliban severely injured Yousafzai because she wanted to go to school.
How are today’s events related to past events?
Present fundamentalism is connected to that noticed in the past because both are based on same foundation. People do not engage in fundamentalist or extremist activities to spread their faiths or for any other good motive. It is just a fight for false supremacy and belittling others. Banning of Hijab in France is an example of fundamentalism and violation of personal freedom. Same was the case many years ago when Muslim girls interested in learning English and going to convent schools in the Indian subcontinent before independence were looked down upon by religious extremists.
How might a fundamentalist Muslim interpret Western intentions? How might a Christian fundamentalist interpret Islamic intentions?
A fundamentalist Muslim calls for strict implementation of sharia law. He/she also rejects the West and everything that the West has to offer to the East (Schanzer 2002). All western values, like those which are portrayed in the movies, are severely detested. Even if Western intentions are positive, many Muslims still see it as a conniving way to invade Muslim countries. On the other hand, a Christian fundamentalist detests all Muslims and believes that every Muslim is a terrorist or somehow related to Al-Qaeda. Islamic intentions are equated to rebellion against Christian institutions. Such misguided interpretations based on fundamentalism drag the two religions and their followers further and further away.
References
Fugelsang, John. “Fugelsang: 5 Nasty Traits Shared By Christian And Muslim Fundamentalists.” aattp.org. Accessed 2013. http://aattp.org/fugelsang-5-nasty-traits-shared-by-christian-and-muslim-fundamentalists/
Schanzer, Jonathan. “At War With Whom? A short history of radical Islam.” meforum.org. Accessed 2002. http://www.meforum.org/168/at-war-with-whom Read More
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